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Tell Me About Your Cross

A while back I was invited into conversation about my jewellery. I was fidgeting with the cross around my neck, and the person seated next to me asked what it was. He wanted to know why I was wearing it, where had I gotten it, did I always wear it, etc. It got me thinking about the jewellery we wear and what it means.

I own several cross pendants. They have all come from different people at different occasions. The history they carry in them is just as significant as the symbolism of the cross itself.

So I started asking friends: tell me about your cross? One friend shared that hers had been a gift from when she was much younger, and the delicate gold now needed a longer chain so she wasn’t wearing it as often. Another friend shared that a colleague’s son had custom-made the unique silver design he always wore. Someone else shared that she was not wearing her cross anymore, as the person who had given it to her was now a negative influence that she didn’t want to be reminded of.

Our crosses are made from a variety of materials: gold, silver, nails, wood. They may be ornate or simple; they may be covered with jewels or basic. They may be Gothic or modern in style, worn alone or with other charms. Whatever they look like, they are our outward expression of our everyday Christianity.  And they are unique to us, and have a story.

So… tell me about your cross?

About Laura Marie Piotrowicz

I’m a high-energy priest, now serving in the Diocese of Niagara, catching glimpses of the kingdom in daily life. I consider church to be a verb, and I’m passionate about prayer, eco-theology, and social justice. I love travel, reading, canoeing, camping, gardening and cooking, playing with my dogs, and drinking good coffee.

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12 Responses to Tell Me About Your Cross

  1. One of the crosses I hold most dear is one that returned from Louisiana with me, after hurricane Katrina. I wrote about it last fall, so you can read more about it by following this link.

    I’m terribly interested in hearing about other people’s crosses, though!

    • Apparently people are cross-shy, Jesse, so I guess I’ll share about one of my crosses… it belonged to my grandmother, I’m not sure if it came with her from Europe or was a North American acquisition. It’s silver, and has tiny rectangular stones on both sides – blue on one, and burgundy on the other. The stones are not at all precious, and the metalwork isn’t perfect. But it’s one of the few things I have from that side of the family. I don’t wear that cross often, as I want to keep it safe.

  2. I wear the cross I received from Cursillo which have broadened my faith and love of Christ!

    The three day journey was amazing!

  3. @matkinso, I’ve heard good things about that same journey, though only in passing. Can you tell as any more about it, as I think Cursillo is foreign to most of us?

  4. I have a whole bunch of crosses and love to cycle through them. The two that have the most history are both from my mother’s side of the family. One belonged to my grandmother – she got it from Ireland (I forget where) and it’s a Celtic cross with five emeralds. I only wear it on very special occasions because the chain is very delicate – I wore it on my wedding day. The other one, which I wear more frequently, belonged to my great-grandfather, who was an Irish abolitionist and missionary. It’s a small black crucifix with a silver corpus and adornments.

    I also bought myself several religious pendants from Terra Sancta Guild on the fifth anniversary of my confirmation, and one of them is a Canterbury cross. I try to wear that on days where I feel super Anglican. 🙂

    This is a great thread; I can’t believe you’ve gotten so few replies!

    • Great stories, @clarity! And you’re right about this thread, though we did hear some more stories on the ACC Facebook page. In the near future, those comments will be brought in alongside these ones, so we won’t have two parallel conversations.

      I hadn’t thought about it until now, but this thread reminds me of an earlier discussion we had about tattoos. Choosing to wear a symbol, whether on a chain or on the skin, seems to demand a certain amount of depth from the wearer. 🙂

    • Indeed. I just re-read some of the tattoo conversation – good stuff. It’s also relevant to me, especially, as the cross I wear daily is the one integrated into the tattoo on my wrist. 🙂

  5. Dawn Leger

    I wear a cross tattoo on my back, which I often forget about until I wear a sundress and someone comments on it.

    When I was working in India through Partners in Mission, I made such a slip. A bishop had given me a sari, and my team encouraged me to wear it. This meant purchasing the proper undergarments. When asked if I wanted an open back on the top, my colleagues said an emphatic, “Yes!”

    The next morning, I walked into a church full of men wearing my sari, receiving many approving looks. As I walked away from them, I heard the murmuring. Of course, they were seeing–and disapproving–of the tattoo I had completely forgotten about.

    At lunch time, a man came up to me and said, “Many are saying a woman like yourself should not have a tattoo on her body. But I know why you wear it. Luke 9. Take up your cross. You wear your cross on your back, just like our Saviour.”

    Now, to be honest, I hadn’t put that much thought into my tattoo, but what grace for this man to stand up and encourage me in such a way.

  6. Wow. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard that kind of tattoo testimony. That’s pretty special.

  7. for virtually all of my life I’ve never worn much in the way of personal jewellery until just recently – a pendant cross on a necklace – to make a statement about Who is my Lord. Now that summer’s here, it’s more visible than in the winter, – no T- shirts, &c – and top button undone;
    so the frequent scornful remarks (supposedly sotto voce) are more frequently heard
    I suppose that’s a different kind of cross…..

    • Charlie – an Orthodox priest once spoke to me about the liturgical act of signing one’s self with the cross. He asked, “if our Lord was not ashamed to wear the marks of the cross for me, then why should I be ashamed to wear the symbolic marks for him?” 🙂

      • yeah; I just started doing it from right to left a little while ago.(After all, in the Nicene Creed, where is Christ seated?)
        but I’m still betwixt and between – another 10 months until I’m eligible for chrismation – anointing – and allowed to receive Holy Communion (that’s a heart-breaker!!!)
        and it’s a two hour bus trip in – and back to the church and a two hour Liturgy.
        Plus fasting – well, pretty tough when you’re 70 with cancer..
        What’s the old saying – ‘In for a penny in for a pound?’
        But I definitely want to keep in touch with my Canterbury friends – because that’s how I think of you all: and because Canterbury and Constantinople aren’t nearly as far apart as Canterbury and Rome — well, what’s 1500 years between friensd?
        Anyway. long past my bedtime – almost 5am.

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